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Old 3rd November 2006   #1
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Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 633
Default Charlotte Coyle in The Guardian

There's a new piece about Charlotte Coyle and two other individuals in The Guardian newspaper, out of Britain. The article as a whole delivers a mixed message at best, and I don't recommend it, but Charlotte's segment is wonderful.

I am so inspired by Charlotte's affirmation that she will NOT diminish her size and beauty, and I applaud the fact that she "promptly dropped her agent" when that agent tried to pressure her into starving. If only more models would maintain their curvy figures, and reject industry pressurs to shrink to faux-plus sizes...

Charlotte also displays some of her keen wit in this article, in reference to a client who failed to appreciate plus-size beauty.

I am thrilled whenever Charlotte does another interview, or is written up in the media, because her comments are always so resolutely size-positive (and beauty-positive). The more exposure she gets, the more the cause of size celebration is advanced.

I'll post the complete text relating to Charlotte below:

Charlotte Coyle, 24, is a successful model in the "plus-size" fashion industry. In the modelling world, where extreme thinness is the norm, Charlotte stands out for being a size 18-20. But she makes no apologies for her size, nor does she plan to lose weight.

"I'm very comfortable with my weight now. It used to affect me a lot when I was younger, but as I got older I realised I was never going to be skinny," she reflects.

Charlotte's breakthrough came in the US three years ago. She was working as a receptionist in a hair salon when one of the clients who worked in the fashion industry suggested she become a model in the plus-size fashion industry in the US. "Initially, I thought 'No way' but I'd always been fascinated by fashion."

She joined the Wilhelmina Agency in New York. "It was quite an achievement for a girl from Derry." Charlotte was soon flying back and forth between Washington DC and New York, juggling temporary jobs and modelling assignments. After her visa expired, Charlotte came back to the UK but the welcome wasn't as warm as she anticipated. "When I returned, my agent told me to lose weight or I wouldn't get any jobs."

She promptly dropped her agent and joined Close Models six weeks ago, where she has recently become the new face for catalogue Simply Be. There have been mostly positive reactions from clients in the fashion industry with one exception, she recalls. "I had one small client who commented on the size of my hips but I wasn't upset as I thought his clothes were rubbish."

Charlotte wants to challenge the perception in the fashion industry that you have to be a size eight or under to be beautiful. "I'd love to see fashion designers using a range of sizes. I want to be a role model and inspire people. You don't have to fit into a box and you can be successful if you're not thin in the industry." Charlotte is adamant that her weight has been a blessing rather than a hindrance in her career. "I wouldn't be a successful plus-size model if I was thin," she points out.
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Old 6th November 2006   #2
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Re: Charlotte Coyle in The Guardian

Not only is it thrilling any time Miss Coyle gets more publicity, but what is significant about the media attention that she (and other top plus-size models) attract is the quality of that publicity, the nature of that attention.

Articles about Charlotte are almost universally examples of positive pubilcity--not just positive in terms of size, but affirmative and wholesome in general.

Just think about the lessons that plus-size-model publicity teaches: it encourages women to reject media standards, to stop letting themselves be exploited by curve-o-phobic agents; to indulge in food freely and without any inhibition; to follow their bodies' natural desires; to feel good about becoming curvier; in short, to be comfortable with themselves, as Charlotte states, and never to feel any need to apologize to anyone.

This contrasts glaringly with the type of press coverage that most media starlets receive, which is almost universally negative publicity. Tanorexic Hollywood types usually get their names in the papers through their use of illegal narcotics, through acts of moral depravity, through surgical butchering of their already-withered bodies, and, yes, through their much-hyped eating "disorders" (which are usually covered in such a way as to dupe young women into emulating their self-imposed, drug-fuelled starvation).

But Charlotte (like Christina Schmidt, Crystal Renn, and Barbara Brickner) generates publicity of an entirely different tenor.

Just as full-figured goddesses help undo media-induced damage to women's body-image, by providing girls with a healthier type of fashion model on which to pattern themselves, so do they also provide women with better role models as well, with the affirmative and wholesome publicity that surrounds them.

Articles about Miss Coyle show women that not only can they achieve fame without starving, but also that they don't need to become addicts, or surgery victims, or women of ill repute, to make their dreams come true.

Charlotte Coyle, dancing a dance out of time:

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